[Guest Post: Don Gray is an Agile Coach whom I have had the pleasure of working with on one of my biggest clients. There is too much to say about him. He kicks ass. You can find him blogging on his website and follow him on twitter @donaldegray] – He also purposely tries to confuse me and challenge me at any given moment.
I recently talked with a company who wanted to use Scrum for their production support team. The team had 670 defects ordered in business priority and needed to work from the top down. Corrected defects would be deployed to production once a month, except quarterly when then deployment would synchronize with new development’s deployment. No planning meetings needed and no demo prior to deployment.
About a week ago the following question was asked on the scrumdevelopment listserve:
“Sometimes, I feel ScrumMaster role is redundant. Is it possible to have Scrum without ScrumMaster?”
Once from the top with feeling
The process has these ceremonies, or meetings if you prefer:
- Sprint planning – happens at the beginning a sprint. Sprint means a time period (usually between 2 – 4 weeks and shorter is better in my experience) where the team produces the value they agreed they would. Sprint planning often divides into two meetings: first the team estimates the amount of work they can accomplish, then they task the work and have a sanity check.
- Daily standup – occurs every day at the same time. The team members share their progress since the last standup and report any blocking issues.
- Sprint demo – where the team demonstrates to the product owner the value they completed in the sprint. The product owner has final say on accepting the work products, or not.
- A retrospective where the team inspects the previous sprint and selects an improvement goal for the next sprint.
- Product owner - responsible for prioritizing and accepting the team’s work.
- Team – preferably 5 – 7 cross functional members so the delivered value can be deployed to production at the end of each sprint.
- ScrumMaster – coaches the team, helps remove blocking issues, shelters the team from outside distractions, makes sure the Scrum process is followed. A sample list of ScrumMaster duties: http://www.scrummasterchecklist.org/ // http://agilescout.com/scrummaster-daily-check-list/
If it looks like a duck …
If you’re not following this process, and don’t have these roles in place, please don’t say “We’re doing Scrum.” You’re not. You may be following the agile principles, http://agilemanifesto.org/principles.html, and that’s great. But you’re not doing Scrum.